avatar

Living Trust offers Advantages over wills

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged:

Published on October 06, 2010 with No Comments

Provisions in other documents such as insurance policies, retirement accounts and jointly-held property often conflict with the intent expressed in a will. Another drawback of wills is that they are subject to the probate process and its typical delays, public proceedings, lawyers’ fees and court costs, which will cost your heirs as it reduces their inheritance.

Trusts, on the other hand, bypass the probate process and put you 100 percent in control of your assets. A trust that has gained popularity for its effectiveness, according to the American Bar Association, is the revocable living trust, also known as an “inter vivos” trust.
The advantages of a living trust are that, unlike wills, it requires no court proceedings. Titles to real estate, securities and other assets are placed in the trust during the owner’s lifetime, and the trust document contains the instructions for managing the assets and how they are to be distributed when the time comes.

Through the trust, a successor trustee distributes the assets according to these instructions, and then dissolves the trust. Trusts also allow you to change or cancel the terms, change beneficiaries and move assets in and out at any time during your lifetime.
Trusts can also reduce exposure to legal challenges. When going through probate, the assets covered in a will are frozen for several months as the court provides the opportunity for anyone to contest the will. The person contesting the will can do so without a lawyer.

In the case of a trust, the assets are not frozen and a person who wants to contest it usually must hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. Without the usual delays of probate, the assets in a trust are often distributed and the trust is dissolved before a contesting heir has time to act.
Living trusts can reduce the federal estate tax burden and allow you to authorize a trustee to manage your property for your and your family’s benefit should you become mentally or physically disabled and unable to manage your affairs. This feature, not available with a will, avoids a court-appointed guardianship and helps assure greater control over your assets.

The living trust gives you the freedom to designate the person who will take over your affairs if the need were to arise. To help you determine whether a living trust is the right solution for your estate planning needs, consult with your attorney.

For more information about estate planning, visit the American Bar Association’s Web site at www.abanet.org/rppt.

This article was provided by Comfort Keepers. Comfort Keepers provides in-home care that allows seniors to remain independent in their homes. For more information about Comfort Keepers, visit www.comfortkeepers.com.


Be Sociable, Share!

Share This Article

About ryan

avatar

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

Comments for Living Trust offers Advantages over wills are now closed.